A happy male, wearing hearing aids, sitting with a female for coffee. Focus is on the hearing aid.

As we get older, we all know that hearing loss and specific mental health concerns can progress despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And a strong connection between the two has been observed by scientists which should never be overlooked. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.

Depression is twice as likely in individuals who are dealing with neglected hearing loss. Close to 27% more individuals with untreated hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” compared to those who used a hearing aid.

They were also 39% more likely to feel that those around them get annoyed for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social activities they once enjoyed.

Let’s explore this interesting study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!

This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss upside down

For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” condition. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. People would just go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t believed to have any health affects beyond the hearing impairment.

Now we know better. This study illustrates just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s overall health.

As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and important study.

How was this research done?

Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed over 2000 individuals 50 and older. The participants included a combination of hearing aid users and those with neglected hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to identify the levels of:

  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Isolation

More than 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help validate what the participants were self-reporting. With this added verification, this research becomes even more pertinent when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.

How health and quality of life are impacted by depression

Eating disorders such as acute obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in people who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more prevalent in those with untreated hearing loss.

While cooking, driving, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can result in severe injury. Those who suffer with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.

The chance of falling for older people is also elevated when a person has depression.

Depression worsens as hearing loss progresses. The individual becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.

But there’s an even sadder statistic.

Usage rates of hearing aids

Only about 25% of those who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Yup! Many people have the ability to protect themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.

Why so many choose not to use a hearing aid

When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many people say they own one. They just won’t use it because it makes them “look old.” They’re embarrassed.

These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them feel more like an extension of your smart technology and less like a hearing aid.

A smaller but considerable number of individuals say hearing aids are too expensive. The connection between disregarded hearing loss and total health risks is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more accessible and affordable. And neglected hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t think about. They’re unaware of how hearing loss will affect their health and quality of life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in only a few years.

How can hearing associated depression symptoms be decreased?

Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Help combat the stigma people feel about wearing a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.

Optimize your hearing in every situation with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to master the advanced features. You’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Consult us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.

If you feel you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to not use it, talk to us today about how to make use of your hearing aid more successfully.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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